Golden ratio

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The golden ratio or phi (Greek letter Φ / φ / ϕ) may be defined by a/b such that a/b = (a+b)/a. It follows that ϕ-1 = 1/ϕ, and also that ϕ = (1+sqrt(5))/2, or approximately 1.6180339887... ϕ is an irrational number that appears in many branches of mathematics.

Wikipedia article on phi

Musical applications

Phi taken as a musical ratio (ϕ*f where f=1/1) is about 833.1 cents. This is sometimes called "acoustical phi".

As the ratios of successive terms of the Fibonacci sequence converge on phi, the just intonation intervals 3/2, 5/3, 8/5, 13/8, 21/13, ... converge on ~833.1 cents.

"Logarithmic phi", or 1200*ϕ cents = 1941.6 cents (or, octave-reduced, 741.6 cents) is also useful as a generator, for example in Erv Wilson's "Golden Horagrams".

Additional reading